For a second day running, Europe’s dairy farmers have been protesting outside the European Union summit in Brussels.
They have used their tractors to block roads and disrupt traffic in the city to back up their twin demands: that something be done about falling milk prices and that the EU scraps plans to end the quota system. Erwin Schöpges from the Belgian Dairy Products Organisation said there were plans for even wider action. “I’ve phoned all my colleagues across Europe to tell them about it,” he said. “I call on all farmers at home to mobilise in solidarity with the people who are in Brussels and block the roads where they are.” That appeal has already been heeded in Belgium and in France where several tonnes of rubbish were dumped and burned on a dual carriagway on Thursday night. Farmers fear plans to end the milk quota system in 2015 will mean even lower prices. But the Commission rejects that, pointing out quotas were not reached last year. EU agriculture ministers will discuss the issue at a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday.